ALERT: Spring tide and shark warning for SA coastlines

Cape Town - While surfers may be tempted to take on the big waves along SA's south coast, National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) warns that sea conditions are not favourable due to nationwide high Spring tide and an influx of sharks at St Francis Bay.

NSRI urged surfers, bathers, paddlers and the public along the St Francis Bay coastline to be cautious on Friday, 06 October, as a whale carcass is floating off-shore in the Bay, attracting sharks that have been witnessed feeding on it.

"The sea rescue craft Spirit of St Francis II has been launched by the NSRI St Francis Bay duty crew who are investigating and we believe that a fishing boat has managed to tow the whale carcass to deeper water but caution along the coast is advised," warns NSRI.

While surfers should avoid Cape St Francis, they can catch a wave by checking out nationwide wave forecasts here.

ALSO SEE: Weather Update: Heavy rain continues in north-east as temperatures sink across SA

Adding to dangerous sea conditions, the full moon Spring tide which peaked on Thursday night, 05 October, have resulted in higher than normal high tides, lower than normal low tides and stronger than normal rip currents which will last into the early part of next week.

NSRI issued a national spring tide warning and are urging the public to be cautious around the coast on Friday and over weekend due to the full moon Spring tide conditions.

"With the school holidays NSRI are particularly urging bathers and anglers to be cautious. The coastline will experience stronger than normal rip currents this weekend," adds NSRI.

What causes stronger rip currents?

According to NSRI, every month the full moon and new moon spring tides cause higher than normal high tides, lower than normal low tides and stronger than normal rip currents around the coast during the twice daily high tides and the twice daily low tides.

The stronger than normal rip currents occur for a few days leading up to the full moon or new moon, peaking on the day of the full moon or new moon and lasting for a few days after the full moon or new moon.

What to read next on Traveller24:

#LoveSA: 62 Beautiful Blue Flag beaches

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Clifton development set to expand Cape Town's tourist attractions

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